Garden State Radio, a Jersey band with a strong stage presence, took the Bryce Jordan Center like a tidal wave of high energy, a much needed breath of fresh air in the early Sunday hours.
The band dressed in all black and comprises female lead vocals, hard hitting drums, powerful guitar riffs, and a smooth, subtle bass.
According to their introduction, the members were “joined together by forces unknown,” but don’t be mistaken. The covers played were well known. Very well known.
Garden State Radio opened with Icona Pop’s “I Love It (I Don’t Care)” and initially gained the audience’s approval, despite the number of times the song was played this weekend. The band progressed through their set with “We Found Love” and “Counting Stars” that still weren’t enough to really motivate the dancers.
The most notable part of the performance was the five-song Michael Jackson montage that covered “Black or White,” “The Way You Make Me Feel,” “Billie Jean,” “Beat It,” and “I Want You Back.” This originality in the set list was short-lived as they broke into more predictable covers of “Wake Me Up” and “Timber.” Garden State Radio did bring the crowd pulse back to life when they began playing Penn State favorites like “Shipping Up to Boston” and “Seven Nation Army.” Of course, I can’t leave out the epic lyrical genius of Madonna’s “Like a Prayer.”
The final two songs of the set managed to rally the troops as dawn approached. The first was “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)” by Fall Out Boy, which was a nice change of pace for the weary-looking THON goers. But by the time they finished an epic “Wrecking Ball” cover, the Bryce Jordan Center appeared to have mixed feelings about the eclectic song choices made by Garden State Radio. I suppose that’s the disadvantage of playing so late in the weekend.